The Beam Team
The team at Kettle River Timberworks comes from a varied educational background in engineering, biology, mathematics and wood science. Together they share a common passion for building incredible timber homes, amazing craftsmanship and exceeding all clients’ expectations.
Dave Petrina, Company Founder & Owner.
Dave got hooked on timber framing after building a timber frame cabin for his family near Manning Park in 1998. Shortly after, he quit his engineering job at a high technology company and started Kettle River Timberworks to pursue the dream. Dave wears several hats at Kettle River – CAD geek, project manager, sales guy and just about everything else. He most enjoys time spent in the field putting up frames. Dave graduated with Honours in Mechanical Engineering from Queen’s University and moved on to a career in the sawmill industry in British Columbia. From there, Dave moved into the high tech industry developing fuel cell vehicles. When Dave isn’t on some remote island putting up a timber frame, he enjoys skiing with his wife and two children at their timber frame cabin near Manning Park.
Andrew Preston, Timber Frame Designer.
Andrew specializes in Timber Frame design for Kettle River Timberworks.
Working closely with clients, engineers and fabricators, Andrew helps projects move from concept to reality. Employing state of the art CAD/CAM software Andrew produces 3D building information models, fabrication drawings and requisite construction documentation.
After obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Management, Andrew worked as an environmental consultant to support his love of traditional carpentry. In 2004 Andrew decided to follow his passion and enrolled in an intensive three month timber-frame course in Kimberley, BC. Now with nearly ten years of experience under his belt designing, cutting and installing heavy timber structures in western Canada and as far away as South America, Andrew brings a unique blend of practical working knowledge and technical skills to the design office.
With involvement in the public, commercial and residential sectors and projects ranging from restoration of one of the largest timber bridges in the world to smaller, yet highly detailed off-grid coastal cabins, Andrew has acquired a wide range of relevant experience that will benefit any project. Be it large or small, Andrew always enjoys the unique challenges and process that each new project brings.
An active member of the Timber Framer’s Guild of North America™, Andrew has instructed and presented on timber layout techniques and traveled to erect a timber frame in the Central Suriname Nature Reserve in South America.
When not busy clicking a mouse or juggling chainsaws, Andrew can be found mountain biking, skiing and spending time with his wife Lisa and their two children, Maggie and Angus on Vancouver Island.
Michael O’Shaughnessy, Project Coordinator.
Michael grew up on the west coast of Ireland and moved to Canada in 2012. Coming from a family of seasoned builders, he was surrounded with reclaimed timber and architectural salvage from a young age. Owing to this he developed a keen appreciation for quality craftsmanship and naturally fell in love with the art of timber framing. Michael studied Structural Engineering in University College Cork and graduated with an Honours degree in 2010. Since moving to Canada he has been working in the field of heavy timber construction as a carpenter and project coordinator and couldn’t be happier. He is combining two of his passions: timber work and creating beautiful structures. In his spare time, Michael spends as much time as he can in the outdoors, in the mountains or on the water.
Cyrill Werlen, Project Manager.
Cyrill started his career at the age of 15 in his brother in-laws mill shop in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. After 4 years training, he finished his exams and became a certified cabinet maker. He then worked for another 2 years at the same shop, as he enjoyed so much variety in his work there – Timber framing in summer, and custom Millwork in winter – there was nothing more he could ask for. At the age of 22 he decided to extend his knowledge in the Industry and signed up for a two year full-time school program to attain a Bachelor of Wood Science and Processing degree. He then worked in various shops as a Project Manager, Production Manager, Member of the Management Team and Head of the Technical Department in one of the biggest Window Production Plants in Switzerland. Years of long days at work went by before he decided to leave Switzerland for a year and come to Canada to see other practices. He did not know then, that December 27th 2008 was goodbye to Switzerland for good. Cyrill fell in love with Canada and decided to stay. And now, 6 years later and part of the Kettle River Team, Cyrill has a lot of experience in a variety of jobs, works with great people in a wonderful environment…and he couldn’t be happier.
Reto Schnyder, Project Manager.
Reto started his apprenticeship in 1996 as a Timber Framer / Carpenter in a small company. This is where he first got introduced to timber framing, staircase building and the fabrication of prefab houses. After successfully finishing his apprenticeship, he worked as a Timber Framer in various companies before he went back to school to become Timber Framing Foreman. He started as a Foreman in 2002 which was very diverse and challenging as his projects spanned renovating old farmhouses from the 17th century to producing prefab houses. He didn’t feel this was the end of his studies, so he went back to school to get his Degree with a Bachelor of Wood Science and Processing in Timber Framing. In 2007, he moved to Reno Nevada where he worked as a Designer and Foreman for Prefab Houses with a company in San Francisco. After 2 years in the States, he got a job on Vancouver Island and worked as a Project Manager in a timber frame company. Kettle River is happy to now have Reto as part of our team as it is very clear we share the same ideas, vision and passion for woodcraft.
‘Pistol’ Pete was born in small town Ontario. He got into construction early working with his extended family of skilled builders and journeymen. Through this ‘apprenticeship’ he developed a strong work ethic and got to learn the fundamentals of many trades. He went on to manage his own general contracting business in Southern Ontario. He also went on to establish a successful barbeque catering business, ‘Pistol Pete’s’ which he operated for 8 years. But Pete was drawn back to the building trades and went on to take extensive courses in Log Building and a course in Timber Framing which ultimately led him to B.C. and to Kettle River Timberworks.
Building timber frame homes in Western Canada is Pete’s “dream job”, he’s happiest when he’s working with his hands, anywhere outside.
In his spare time, Pete enjoys everything in the snow and surfing, though most of his spare time lately has been spent fully renovating his new home, a process which he and his beautiful bride Leigh, are enjoying very much.
Matt was born and raised on Vancouver Island. He is a fourth year apprentice carpenter with seven years of Timber Frame and fine woodworking experience. Matt is set to become a Red Seal Journeyman. He truly enjoys creating Timber Frames that showcase West Coast Timber so well. In his spare time Matt enjoys many outdoor activities such as mountain biking, snowboarding and especially fishing. Matt currently resides in Victoria with his girlfriend.
Curtis is a long time member of the Beam Team who joined our crew a few years ago from the East coast. Born in Ontario and a graduate from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Curtis is a jack of all trades and a man with many passions. He is also a Forest Fire Fighter and our certified First Aid crew member. With a strong construction and roofing background, Curtis is an asset and overall great guy to have on our crew. We can always count on him to keep morale high with his humour and positive outlook on life. A free-spirit by nature, when Curtis isn’t working, you will most likely find him on a surfing adventure with his best friend and loveable dog Charlie and his awesome fiance Jenny.
Angela Veel, Administration and Marketing.
Moving from Toronto, Angela has lived in Vancouver for four years now and has found a home with Kettle River. With a degree from The University of Western Ontario in Business Administration, she maintains the office operations and marketing side of the business. She also handles logistics and assists clients with decisions required throughout the design process. Since her start with Kettle River, she has taken on more and more responsibility within the company and has proven to be an invaluable asset to the team. In her spare time, you can find Angela at the beach enjoying the west coast scenery or improving her mountain biking skills as she loves it, but admits she isn’t very good…yet!